Rosy Cole

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Rosy Cole was born and educated in the Shires of England. Her writing career started in her teens. Four apprentice works eventually led to publication of two novels. Life intervened, but she returned to authorship in 2004. She has worked as a Press Officer and Publisher's Reader. Among widespread interests, she lists history, opera, musicals, jazz, the arts, drawing and painting, gemmology, homoeopathy and alternative therapies. Theology also is an abiding interest. As a singer, she's performed alongside many renowned musicians and has run a music agency which specialised in themed 'words-and-music' programmes, bringing her two greatest passions together. Rosy's first book of poetry, THE TWAIN, Poems of Earth and Ether, was published in April 2012, National Poetry Month, and two other collections are in preparation. As well as the First and Second Books in the Berkeley Series, she has written several other historical titles and one of literary fiction. She is currently working on the Third Book in the Berkeley Series. All her books are now published under the New Eve imprint. Rosy lives in West Sussex with her son, Chris, and her Labrador cross, Poppy, who keeps a firm paw on the work-and-walkies schedule!

Dreaming In Courtship

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Inspired by Virginia M Macasaet's post

 

'Marriage is...not a safe house.'  

It's not as uncommon as we'd wish that, as soon as the knot is tied, overnight and sometimes when the ink is barely dry on the certificate, a new husband is revealed in an altogether altered character than that presented beforehand. If the same thing happens the other way round, I'm not aware of it, and wonder whether such a dynamic could be quite as grotesque and threatening.

Women are lucky that education has freed them from dependency. The single life is now a viable option. Half a century ago, matrimony was regarded as a public more than a private obligation. It was held in honour for strengthening the fabric of society, fielding its social problems and building the future. When you'd made your bed, you had to lie on it, if only because of economic imperatives. The pressure to conform and also to produce children within a year or two, was immense. No doubt there was a deep anthropological purpose in this to do with the survival of the species, especially after two world wars. The married state was both more and less of a risk than it is now. Because it was a lifelong venture, it was deemed wise to invite heaven's blessing on the whole scenario proceeding from it.

What many couples in the past had a chance to find out, was that weathering the trials of life in company with one another actually strengthened the bond between them and brought them through to unforeseen regions of delight in solidarity. Instead of the 'yoke' chafing at every rut, it began to even the load. Real love is not the stuff of opera and romance, or wild and transient passion, but its compelling force provides a motif and a motivation to take on the world in quiet confidence and leave it a better place. It's not about gazing into one another's eyes, but about gazing out upon the world from a shared platform.

We live in different times. Where divorce was unheard of in those days, except among celebrities, it has become as commonplace as marriage itself. There is a consensus about short-circuiting unhappiness. It is senseless to prolong the agony. We have only one life. And there can be non-negotiable reasons why a marriage in law can be a travesty, or worse. Ghastly mistakes may be made. One half hanging in there against the behaviour of the other doesn't make a marriage. It makes one person's triumph of survival against the odds. Yet how much agony is manufactured by the lure of pastures new, the built-in get-out clauses and the underlying knowledge in the first place that it's okay to cut and run if things don't work out?  And by what criteria do we judge 'not working out'? How much nervousness sets in over comparative trifles when escape routes are easy? As Virginia makes clear, marriage finds out who we really are.

New codes of behaviour may have become acceptable, but there is such a thing as objective truth. Where we may change, it doesn't. The fallout may roll on endlessly down the generations. Consequences seldom take effect overnight. Marriage as a structure has evolved in the best interests of everyone, whether on the inside or outside of that institution.

Ideally - yes, ideals are a pathfinder - with perseverance and goodwill, we hope that attraction will blossom into a stable and loving kinship that allows spouses to go on discovering new 'rooms' in the houses of their own and each other's personalities, just because... 

There are hardships in both lifestyles, married and single, yet nothing so hellish, so desolating, as being trapped in an emotional warp. 

In the light of Rina's opening paragraph, I think it's still worth asking the searching question about a prospective partner: Are we likely to make each other twice the people we are, or reduce each of us to half? 

Bearing in mind that a marriage is a new entity, greater than the sum of its parts, the scope of this ratio is almost limitless.

It's still the luck of the draw and, for many, requires divine guidance in making the decision and in living out what comes after, whatever that be.

 

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Some memorable asides from the famous who've been there. Or not.

 

Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.
Franz Schubert

To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up.
Ogden Nash

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.
Martin Luther

Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.
Abraham Lincoln

One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.
Oscar Wilde

Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside equally desperate to get out.
Michel de Montaigne

They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake.
Alexander Pope

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin.
Honore de Balzac

Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.
H. L. Mencken

The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds — they mature slowly.
Peter De Vries

There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for granted relationship.
Iris Murdoch

Matrimony is a process by which a grocer acquired an account the florist had.
Francis Rodman

That quiet mutual gaze of a trusting husband and wife is like the first moment of rest or refuge from a great weariness or a great danger.
George Eliot

It's a funny thing that when a man hasn't anything on earth to worry about, he goes off and gets married.
Robert Frost

Books and marriage go ill together.
Molière

 

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Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole 2015

Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
A thought-provoking, interesting piece, Rosy. I married relatively young and, coming from a family of divorcées, didn't really kn... Read More
Monday, 22 June 2015 18:08
Rosy Cole
Yes, Katia, I do agree. Separate bank accounts are wisdom, but mainly because they affirm identity in the first place and equality... Read More
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 12:33
Anonymous
All of these lines were interesting but you managed to get three of my favorites in: Ogden Nash (his was definitely worth saving)... Read More
Monday, 22 June 2015 23:13
3435 Hits
5 Comments

Pioneering Pup Uncovers Writers' Lair

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by Jack, your bony fido newshound.

Katia's animal post got El Springador a little too excited. The mention of seagulls was the trigger. Back in early 2008, he stumbled upon a great new site for scribes and soon became a Founder Member with his first blog post. He's persuaded me, as only he can, that this is the moment for a reprise. 

Wey-hey, folks! So where's the gig? In the Red Room, I guess. Let me check the boundaries for you. OK, the name's Jack. Twenty-five killergrams of lightning reaction and a bundle of laughs if you're not trespussing on my patch. You've heard of matadors, toreadors, troubadors and labradors - well, I'm a Springador (note capital 'S') as you can see from the pawtrait.

When God created Springadors, it was in the full flush of genius. The sun was shining. The birds were singing, cats were catatonic, cyclists had all got punctures and joggers were deadbeat. It was an absolutely dognificent day! There was no cause to go back to the drawing-board umpteen times over. He looked down from the great kennel in the sky and thought to himself that he hadn't been concentrating on the task in hand the day he devised homo sapiens. The species left a lot to be desired. Never mind that account in the Good Book about the sixth day, HS was definitely a Friday Afternoon Job when he was dog-tired after his fling with Jurassic Park.

For instance, if Adam hadn't been so bone-stupid, it would have occurred to him to kick up a dust and bury his spare rib in the garden, instead of which God was left to dream up a way of putting it to use. Result: double trouble! And if Eve had been a bit more fly with the apple, she'd have known how to spit out the pips and leave them in a neat row on the sofa instead of bequeathing perennial ruin to mankind and the endless wobblers and cobblers flesh is heir to.

No, God needed a guiding paw, a cautionary tail, a pair of quizzical ears and a bark up the right tree to keep humans on the other end of the lead and safely corralled by their own hearth where they belong. He needed Springies to reveal the true meaning of Unconditional Love. It's no walkies in clover, I can tell you. In fact, I sometimes wonder who, exactly, is prolonging WHOSE active life!

But this is overrunning the tail, as is my wont. I'm a pedigree crossbreed. Yes, I am! It was an inspired conjunction for the planet. In looks, I favour the pater who was a debonair Lab, black as the ace of spades, but in temperament, I take after the distaff. My dad came courting a big blonde on our farm. Only trouble was he took a shine to the wrong resident. Well, you couldn't blame him. My mum was drop dog gorgeous, a KC reg. Welsh Springer, ginger and white, and a very sparky girl.You can't run one of those on empty. It was a whirlwind romance. He proposed and disposed in record time. Then he beetled off, leaving her to bring up a clutch of puppies single-pawed.That's when my native litterary talent came into its own. I was top dog straight off! I whipped the stragglers into line at suppertime, licked their snuffles, sorted their squabbles and nipped any tantrums right in the short and curlies. Someone had to put paid to all that skeltering off my paw mum's flanks!

I was a precocious little tyke in those days, it's true. You're inclined to grow up fast when life foists on you the responsibilties of Head of Pack before you're on Adult Maintenance, let alone got your dogtorate from Barkly.

Anyhow, to cut to the chase, I left the land of the Red Dragon and was borne off to the South Downs of England to live with Herself, who's a writer, and Big Bruv who's an eco-freak as well as a techno-geek and who does a lot of vacuuming pet fur out of PCs. (How does it get behind picture-glass?) I soon settled in. The only problem was, some seagulls were nesting on the roof and set up a terrible din in the small hours. Had to resort to tugging a pillow through the dog-flap and shredding it to feathers to let them know what to expect if they didn't beat it. That put the wind up their tails, no kidding. They had to abandon the nursery. Showed them who was really ruling the roost!

Yikes! I must be off! It's ten past bickies and time for perambulations! Back soon!

Jack

The dog who keeps track of the plot.

Tailnote: I'm lovin' the new gig venue! Green is Good! Renewable Energy is Us!

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RIP #ElSpringador (July 10, 2004 - January 6, 2018)

Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole 2008 and 2015

Recent Comments
Anonymous
Jack's fine mind is evident in his demeanor. A deep understanding combined with an air of grave concern. But is he considering a ... Read More
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 12:54
Rosy Cole
Charlie, his mind is lightning quick. He assesses a situation faster than any human. He also understands abstract concepts well an... Read More
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 14:16
Anonymous
I'm most impressed by his canine vocabulary. He and I could definitely enjoy a meeting of the minds. ("You and me, Jack. We get i... Read More
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 14:55
2093 Hits
12 Comments

One (Tax-Effective) Lump Sum, Or Two, Vicar?

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One of the ongoing and little appreciated consequences of Henry VIII's defiance of the Pope and his break with wealthy Catholicism, means that Protestants have inherited responsibility for the upkeep of England's heritage churches which, despite some governmental assistance, can be a millstone. Thankfully they were built for the greater glory of God, and to last, but week to week upkeep can run into thousands of pounds. This fun poem concerning one zealous priest was written with affection several years ago. I'm sure readers will recognise the inimitable Tom Hollander in the images in his role as Rev.

 

Zeal for your house consumes me. Psalm 69:9

 

We’re looking on the bright side

That’s where we cast our net

It’s what the vicar tells us

Will get him out of debt

The choir’s in perfect harmony

The organ chords resound

But if coffers are not rustling

There’s no joy to be found

 

We’ve given in our widow’s mite

But still it’s not enough

Donations should be paper

Any other kind is duff

So forget about the small change

Dig deep in purse and pocket

If the tax-man doesn’t take it

The vicar’s sure to dock it!

 

Now those who’ve sung at weddings

Will know the cleric’s drill

A captive congregation

Means collection plates should fill

He tells of crumbling plaster

And windows that need masons

Without a calm restraining hand

He’d be passing round large basins!

 

Some think an entrance turnstile

Would be a good idea

The takings would flow freely

And add up year by year

Such measures smack of mammon

And leave the punter skint

With work like that in progress

We should just install a Mint!

 

So render unto Osborne

The sums that must be found

And pray our Talents work for good

Unburied in the ground

With Faith and Hope and Charity

Investment’s sure to double

But those who gather into banks

Heap up a hoard of trouble

 

You can’t fault the Rev's intentions

His heart’s for God and Church

Without his glorious vision

We’d all be in the lurch

He’s anchor-man and mainstay

And shepherd of the flock

He keeps a strength of purpose

To make sure we build on rock.

 

So we’re looking on the bright side

We’re hauling in our catch

The nets are fairly breaking

And debt we can despatch

Those future generations

Who want their sins forgiven

Can join with us who bless him

And have their Hope in Heaven!

 

 

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Photo: Giles Keyte

 

 

Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole 2009. 2012, 2013, and 2015

Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
Brilliant! I love it!
Sunday, 31 May 2015 19:27
Rosy Cole
Thank you! Please you enjoyed :-)
Monday, 01 June 2015 15:54
Stephen Evans
Funny! reminds me of this famous American poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xWtysMlrcA... Read More
Sunday, 31 May 2015 22:39
2066 Hits
13 Comments

Good For You!

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  Removing the Thorn - P J Crook courtesy of Bridgeman Images

 

Some time ago, a colleague in a now defunct writers' forum, highlighted the paradox of how self-interest can masquerade as altruism. She quoted Ezra Bayda:  '...whenever we feel an urgency or longing to help, it’s often rooted in the fear of facing our own unhealed pain.'

That it may be so, can't be disputed and the blogger was scrupulously honest in examining her own motives, but I'd want to question the other side of Bayda's proposal.

What is so suspect about the empathy, or insight, that arises from going through, or having been through, the same kind of experiences? In externalising and refocusing our concerns, we can mend ourselves and maybe help to mend others, too. The endeavour itself is a learning curve and a transforming process. To claim, as Bayda apparently does, that it has no power to change us or enable inner growth is neither my personal experience nor observation of others'.

The Golden Rule suggests that we do to others as we would have them do to us . We love our neighbour as ourselves. We are linked. It's a mirror image, a multiple, ongoing, mirror image. We are interdependent. It's meant to be that way.

Yes, we do recognise fear in others because it is also in us. Mightn't that be true compassion? The most constructive form of aversion therapy, perhaps? Aren't we here to try to make the best of the hand we're dealt and 'contain the chaos', make some kind of sense of it?  

There is a lovely metaphor in circulation among clergy concerning a banquet in the halls of heaven where the guests, seated at one long table, are left to contemplate with dismay the wonderful feast placed before them. It turns out that the cutlery is too long to supply their own mouths! All that promise is destined to disappoint, until they hit on the solution of ministering to the person seated opposite so that the occasion metamorphoses into pure delight and enjoyment.

It is a documented, yet logically unexplained fact, that there are times, in extremis, in the heat of battle, or persecution, a human being will actually choose to lay down his life for someone he believes to be a worthier candidate for living than himself. This is not the same thing as fighting for freedom, or king or country, and being willing to place one's life on the line in a worst case scenario. Nor can it be compared with a death-and-glory bid in some ideological cause which is anathema to anything that passes for love.

I readily concede that there can be unhealthy instances of identity transference, hostage issues, possession, and ego-building at the expense of others, but feel sure the primary impulse is a sound one. Knowing when to offer help, and when to withdraw, is key. If we're going for the 'golden glow', we might as well forget it, because effective help is not necessarily recognised (on either side!) and is not always appreciated. Not everyone in crisis wants to be helped deep down.

In the overt quest for self-development and the solipsist outlook that goes with it, the western world seems to have hamstrung itself by believing that any form of altruism reflects hypocrisy. When our pop culture idols try to inject meaning into their empty existences and set some kind of karma in train for all they have been given, the scream of 'publicity' is loud and clear. But who are we to judge? How do we know they haven't had some Damascene revelation? If it's simply that their consciences have been smitten by humanitarian responsibility, does that trash their motive or nullify the good they do?

What appears to rule here is the bias of a mythical norm, a kind of mean that is purged of our shadier motives. Well, we're human, prone to bumbling idiocy half the time. We're not perfect. And the only way we're going to 'come good', sooner or later, is by acting out of our better nature, subscribing to a common value.

Our parents and grandparents – who weren't hidebound by the relativistic climate that is supposed to have freed us – used to have a saying: 'Do right because it is right.'

The blogger challenged our relationship with 'doing good'. What new resolutions did we need to form?

Personally, I am ever conscious of the pitfalls she spoke of, but at the end of the day, I can hand it all over to God and trust that through his agency good will emerge, healing will take place, maybe a quite different good from what I envisaged and one that, in the apparent scheme of things, has no connection with me.

So my maxim is the wisdom attributed both to St Augustine and to St Ignatius Loyola: 'Work as if everything depends on you and pray as if everything depends on God.'

In my book, that's awesome teamwork! 

Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole 2010 and 2015

Recent Comments
Sue Martin Glasco
Do unto others often helps us decide what to do when in doubt. I do not always have the nerve or energy, but it is a comforting an... Read More
Monday, 18 May 2015 16:52
Rosy Cole
Yes, I think you're right, Sue. Simple is always best. In this era of the internet, when wisdom gets passed around so freely, wh... Read More
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 13:53
Stephen Evans
Well said ... Read More
Monday, 18 May 2015 22:52
2175 Hits
7 Comments

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Hopeful! I was just reading Frost's A Prayer in Spring, which reminds me of this.
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